Steamboat Springs With his path to a seat on the Steamboat Springs Board of Education already clear, uncontested candidate Michael Loomis doesn't have to worry about Election Day results.
Loomis, who with one vote on Nov. 4 will become the next School Board member to represent District 5, said he's ready to take on the time commitment. It was the time commitment of being a School Board member that pushed Loomis' opponent, Mike Skov, out of the race and caused Loomis to wait until deadline day to turn in his nomination petition.
"I just had to sit down with the family and really look at it," Loomis said last week. "I'm comfortable with making the time commitment."
Loomis, 46, owns and operates Steamboat Spine and Sports Physical Therapy with his wife, Stephanie. The couple has two daughters who attend Strawberry Park Elementary School.
Loomis is a two-term member of the Education Fund Board's Educational Excellence Commission, has spent time volunteering in his daughters' classrooms as well as scoring district writing assessments and is a substitute bus driver for the school district, a position he says provides him a unique view of students and the schools.
Loomis said he brings to the School Board patience and reason, the ability to listen to all sides of an issue, a love of children and a dedication to reaching the highest possible level of education within the school district.
Several district issues need to be addressed, including communication between the School Board and the superintendent and between the superintendent and the staff, Loomis said. School staff has felt that all communication to the School Board must go through the superintendent, he said.
Loomis is hoping the report from the National School Public Relations Association will help address many of the communication issues.
"I think the (NSPRA audit) will do a lot to bridge the gap and have more communication," Loomis said.
As to the ongoing district battle with Steamboat Springs Montessori, Loomis said he respects the Montessori group's right to apply for a charter school but questions its move to file a lawsuit against the district.
"I think the Montessori charter school group has every right to request and pursue what they think would be in the best interest of educating their children," Loomis said. "But in conversations with educators and parents, I do not hear of a great need or desire for another charter school in our district. It appears the timing is poor, economically and politically, to pursue this charter, and I don't see the point in pressing the issue to force legal action."
Loomis said he has been a strong proponent of small class size, particularly in kindergarten through third-grade.
"The problem is we do not have unlimited funds, and it becomes a balancing act," Loomis said. "The class size issue needs to be addressed annually, working with the administrative team and the Fund Board, to make sure our limited budget for small class size is targeted to the greatest need."
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